China confirms first human case of H3N8 bird flu. Early research shows that the strain does not have the ability to be transmitted from human to human.
The aforementioned human case was that of a four-year-old boy from Zhumadian, Henan province, who tested positive for the bird flu strain, local health chiefs confirmed.
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The boy, who had a fever, had been in contact with chickens and crows raised in his home. The virus is usually spread by touching infected birds and their droppings, or by preparing infected poultry for cooking.
None of the child’s close contacts are infected with the strain. China’s National Health Commission has not yet provided any update on the child. Bird flu is believed to kill up to half of the people it infects, the NHC added.
As stated, early research shows that the strain does not have the ability to be transmitted from human to human.prompting Chinese doctors to say the risk of a large-scale outbreak was low.
The H3N8 variant, one of several types of bird flu, is common in horses and dogs and has even been found in seals. However, no human cases have been reported so far.
The NHC advised people to avoid direct contact with live poultry and seek medical attention if they develop any telltale symptoms of the flu.
Bird flu can cause fever, muscle pain, headache and cough, similar to the traditional form of the virus..
Patients may also experience diarrhea, sickness, stomach pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums, as well as conjunctivitis.
Infected people are treated at home or in hospital, and isolated. Antivirals can reduce the severity of the disease.
Nicola Lewis, an influenza expert at the UK’s Royal Veterinary College, said genome analysis of the case, identified just three hours’ drive north of Wuhan, showed it to be a rearrangement.
This means that it contains genes from viruses that have previously been detected in poultry and wild birds.
Many strains of bird flu are present in China. It has a huge population of farmed and wild birds, which encourages avian viruses to mix and mutate.
Most of them do not infect humans. Only four strains have caused concern in recent years after infecting humans: H5N1, H7N9, H5N6 and H5N8.
Death rates from bird flu in humans have been estimated to be as high as 50 percent.
But because transmission to humans is so rare, fewer than 500 bird flu deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization since 1997.
Britain experienced its biggest outbreak of bird flu last month, after H5N1 cases began to rise in November after first being detected in North Yorkshire.
Alan Gosling, a 79-year-old grandfather living in Devon, became the UK’s first human case of H5N1 after contracting it from ducks in his home.
He self-isolated at home for three weeks at the beginning of the year until he finally tested negative.
Bird flu measures introduced in a bid to control the outbreak meant Britons could no longer buy free-range eggs due to the length of time the hens were kept indoors.
As of the end of March, 863 human cases of H5N1 had been confirmed in 18 countries, and 455 were fatal.
The World Health Organization had also recorded 75 confirmed cases and 32 deaths due to H5N6.
A virus that kills up to 50% of humans… but transmission is rare: everything you need to know about bird flu
What is bird flu?
Bird flu, or bird flu, is an infectious type of flu that spreads among bird species but can, on rare occasions, jump to humans.
Like human flu, there are many strains of bird flu:
The current outbreak in birds in the UK is H5N1, the strain that has the British infected.
What are the symptoms?
Avian flu symptoms generally take three to five days to appear, with the most common being:
- a very high temperature
- or feeling hot or shivering
- sore muscles
- cough or shortness of breath
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